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Exclusive: Sean “Diddy” Combs Talks Enyce Purchase

Sean “Diddy” Combs added another asset to his expanding clothing empire today (October 21), with the purchase of fashion brand Enyce from Liz Claiborne, Inc.

 

Enyce, which was founded in 1996, is a denim sportswear line specializing in wovens, knits, outerwear, and graphic tees for men and boys.

 

Recently, the company also found success through its “Big and Tall” line. Liz Claiborne purchased the brand in 2003.

 

In an exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com, Combs detailed his plans to expand Enyce’s popularity through the cutting-edge marketing that’s made his various brands a success.

 

“I remember when Enyce was sold back in 2003 for $114 million,” Combs told AllHipHop.com exclusively. “I was always a fan of the brand from when [founders] Evan Davis, Lando Felix, and Tony Shellman owned it. About a year ago I heard that Liz Claiborne was considering selling it because it wasn’t a good fit for their portfolio. I knew it would be a great opportunity so we began negotiations which took about six months.”

 

Both Liz Claiborne and Combs have agreed to work extensively with employees, retail partners, and vendors to ensure a smooth transition period.

 

“We’re going to retool and make it completely different from our Sean John line, which is still the mothership brand,” Combs stated. “But with respect to the economic conditions many face, this offers us the opportunity to supply a quality fashion brand at a lower price point.”

 

The sale was partly fueled by economic concerns, as Liz Claiborne Chief Executive Officer William McComb revealed that his organization was unable to provide the financial resources to properly market Enyce.

 

“I’m extremely excited about this purchase, and since my boy Tony Shellman used to own it gives me more motivation to do right by it,” Combs told AllHipHop.com. “And above all, as a black businessman I want to keep inspiring the African-American community to keep moving forward and pursuing opportunities in business. Black entrepreneurship and wealth building is very important to me and I want the youth and everyone to know these goals are attainable to them as well.”

 

Undeterred by the nation’s recession woes, Combs views the acquisition as another opportunity to be an industry leader in licensing and marketing expansion.

 

“When we did our field research, we found a lot of people were aware of Enyce and it had a lot of the name recognition that’s missing from most of the brands out there,” Combs revealed. “But what happened was it stopped being marketed, and it fell out of the limelight. It’s our challenge to be innovative in our marketing to reintroduce the brand to the public.”

 

At press time, the exact sale amount of the Enyce acquisition has not been disclosed.

 

“When it comes to diversifying our business portfolio, this acquisition is a perfect fit,” Combs disclosed. “Compare it to music where they call me the King of the Remix, we’re going to apply that same approach to the band: ‘remixing’ the sales approach, the brand marketing, and how the product is distributed globally and domestically.”

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